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Compensation for Services Rendered and Reimbursement of Expenses

Local Rule Number: 
Rule 2016-1
2000 Series

(A)       General.  Requests for compensation for professional services or reimbursement of expenses from the estate are governed by Bankruptcy Rule 2016 and this rule, except that applications for compensation by auctioneers are governed by Local Rule 6005-1.  Subject to later review by the court and the U.S. Trustee, chapter 7 trustees are authorized to pay, without prior approval of the court, those expenses as provided in, and pursuant to, the court’s “Guidelines for Reimbursement to Chapter 7 Trustees for Costs Without Prior Court Order”.  Disclosure of compensation by the attorney for debtor shall conform to the Official Bankruptcy Form “Disclosure of Compensation of Attorney for Debtor”.

(B)       Requirements for Compensation.

(1)        Applications for Compensation for Professional Services or Reimbursement of Expenses other than by Attorneys for Chapter 13 Debtors.  Applications for compensation of attorneys (other than by attorneys for chapter 13 debtors), accountants, and other professionals submitted pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 2016 shall conform substantially to the court’s “Guidelines for Fee Applications for Professionals in the Southern District of Florida” and the local forms described in the guidelines; provided, however, that applications for cumulative compensation that do not exceed $2,500 need not include a breakdown by categories of work performed.  Applications for compensation by creditors’ attorneys, other than under 11 U.S.C. §503(b)(2), (3) and (4), are not governed by this subdivision but may be incorporated into the creditor’s claim, request for payment of administrative expense, or motion to determine value of secured claim.

(2)        Compensation for Professional Services or Reimbursement of Expenses By Attorney for Chapter 13 Debtor.  Sanctions.

(a)        General.  Compensation for professional services or reimbursement of expenses by attorneys for chapter 13 debtors shall comply with the court’s “Guidelines for Compensation for Professional Services or Reimbursement of Expenses by Attorneys for Chapter 13 Debtors Pursuant to Local Rule 2016-1(B)(2)(a)” (“Chapter 13 Fee Guidelines”) and the local forms described in the “Chapter 13 Fee Guidelines”.  Chapter 13 debtors and their attorneys must execute the Local Form “Rights and Responsibilities Agreement Between Chapter 13 Debtor(s) and Chapter 13 Debtor(s)’ Attorney for Cases Filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida” prior to filing a chapter 13 case in this court.  The form shall be retained by the parties and not filed with the court.  A copy of the agreement must be made available to the chapter 13 trustee at the meeting of creditors.

(b)       Sanctions.  The failure of an attorney to timely file the plan or schedules, to attend the meeting of creditors, to promptly and timely file amendments, or to appear at confirmation hearings or at any other scheduled meetings or hearings shall result in the reduction of the attorney’s fee, for each such occurrence, in such amount as the court finds to be appropriate.

 (3)        Interim Compensation in Chapter 11 Cases.

(a)        General.  Applications for interim compensation shall comply with the “Guidelines for Fee Applications for Professionals in the Southern District of Florida in Bankruptcy Cases” for final applications unless otherwise ordered by the court.

(b)       Motions to Permit Monthly Payment of Interim Fee Applications.  In larger chapter 11 cases, upon motion of a chapter 11 debtor, the court, upon notice and hearing, may consider approval of procedures for monthly payment of interim fee applications of chapter 11 professionals.  The motion and proposed Local Form “Order Establishing Procedures to Permit Monthly Payment of Interim Fee Applications of Chapter 11 Professionals” shall be served on the U.S. Trustee, the attorney for each official committee (or if no committee is appointed, the 20 largest unsecured creditors), attorneys for all postpetition lenders (or attorneys for their agents) and all parties who have filed a notice of appearance.

 (C)       Deadlines for Filing Applications in All Chapter Cases.  Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the final application for compensation of any professional must be filed:

(1)        in chapter 11 cases, not later than 21 days prior to the date of the confirmation hearing, and in cases involving small business debtors not later than 14 days prior to the date of the confirmation hearing, though the applicant may supplement the application with additional supporting documentation under the guidelines at, or prior to, the confirmation hearing, if the application included an estimate of the additional fees and costs necessary through confirmation;

(2)       in chapter 7 cases converted or reconverted from chapter 11, 12, or 13 cases, for those services rendered and costs incurred during the superseded case, not later than 90 days after the post-conversion meeting of creditors, in accordance with Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c);

(3)        in chapter 12 cases, not later than two business days prior to the confirmation hearing; and

(4)        in chapter 13 cases where applications are required:

(a)        Prior to confirmation, a local form fee application shall be filed and served on the debtor no later than 14 days prior to the confirmation hearing and notice provided to all interested parties that the fee application will be heard at the confirmation hearing.

(b)       Subsequent to confirmation, a local form fee application for fees in conjunction with filing modifications to the plan after confirmation shall be filed and served on the debtor no later than 14 days prior to the hearing on the modified plan, and notice provided to all interested parties that the fee application will be heard with the motion to modify the confirmed plan.  Any additional requests for compensation which exceed the amounts permitted under the “Chapter 13 Fee Guidelines” referenced in subdivision (B)(2)(a) of this rule, shall require application and approval in accordance with the “Chapter 13 Fee Guidelines” and shall comply with the notice and hearing requirements of Local Rule 9073-1.

(c)        Upon dismissal or conversion of a case prior to confirmation of a plan, a local form fee application shall be filed and served on the debtor by an attorney seeking compensation in excess of the amounts set forth in paragraph (A)(1) of the “Chapter 13 Fee Guidelines”.  The application must be filed and served no later than 14 days after entry of the order of dismissal or conversion, and the applicant shall comply with the notice and hearing requirements of Local Rule 9073-1.

(D)       Bankruptcy Petition Preparers Disclosure of Compensation.  Bankruptcy petition preparers must submit fee disclosure information pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §110(h), in a format conforming to Administrative Office of the United States Courts Director’s Procedural Form “Disclosure of Compensation of Bankruptcy Petition Preparer”.  The Official Bankruptcy Form “Bankruptcy Petition Preparer’s Notice, Declaration, and Signature” must be filed with each document prepared for filing by the bankruptcy petition preparer as required by 11 U.S.C. §110. If more than one petition preparer works on a case, both petition preparers must file the required fee disclosure information. A petition preparer is only entitled to be compensated if that petition preparer actually does work as a petition preparer. No referral fees are permitted.

[Comment: See also Bankruptcy Rule 2002(c)(2) (notice of fee applications) and Local Rules 1019-1(J) (deadline for filing postpetition claims), 2002-1(C)(9) (service of fee application), 7054-1(F) (motion for fees and costs in adversary proceeding), 8014-1(F) (motion for fees and costs in appeals), 9013-1(C)(3) (ex parte motions to approve employment) and 9013-1(D)(4)(c) (hearing required).]

☞2015 Amendment: Section (D) amended to reflect amendment to Official Bankruptcy Form name and to include language which does not duplicate Bankruptcy Rule 2016(c) but does refer to the national forms regarding bankruptcy petition preparer’s mandatory disclosures.